Wednesday, April 1, 2020

You may have seen articles in the business press about companies tapping lines of credit with their lenders, so the firms can stockpile more cash during the Covid-19 crisis.

The latest company to do this is Kroger Corp. ($KR), which filed its 2019 Form 10-K on April 1 — and there, tucked away as a subsequent event, Kroger said it has borrowed $1 billion from a revolving credit facility as “a precautionary measure to preserve financial flexibility, reduce reliance on the commercial paper market, and maintain liquidity in response to the coronavirus pandemic.” With that extra $1 billion, Kroger now has cash and equivalents of roughly $2.34 billion.

Kroger is not alone. We used the Calcbench Mutli-Company Page to see what other companies have tapped lines of credit lately, and get a large sense of the trends here.

For example, Darden Restaurants ($DRI) drew down a $750 million credit facility in March, according to its most recent quarterly report filed on March 31. Ulta Beauty ($ULTA) drew down $800 million on March 18, according to its latest quarterly report filed on March 27. Like Kroger, both Darden and Ulta said they drew down their lines of credit specifically because of Covid-19 uncertainty.

All three firms have fiscal quarters that end earlier than the calendar first-quarter date of March 31. Hence they included the coronavirus line of credit news as subsequent events: because their fiscal periods closed at the end of February, and Covid-19 didn’t truly strike the world until March.

But this does mean that in coming weeks, we’re likely to see many more firms report that they’ve tapped lines of credit as a protective move against Covid-19 — because most companies’ fiscal quarters align with the calendar, and Q1 just ended. As those Q1 2020 reports start to arrive in about four weeks’ time, covid-related disclosures will soar. Many large firms — Hilton, Seaworld, and Disney, for example — have already announced lines of credit through 8-K filings.

How to Search for Disclosures

You can research these disclosures in Calcbench several ways. First, you can use the Multi-Company Page and search our standardized metrics for various line of credit disclosures.

In Figure 1, below, we searched the S&P 500 for several types of disclosures: line of credit, showing what firms have tapped recently (left column); line of credit maximum borrowing capacity (middle column); and line of credit remaining borrowing capacity (right column).

Not all these disclosures are related to Covid-19. To get the full details, you’ll need to use our Trace feature for whatever disclosure catches your eye, and then read the specific results. For example, Paychex, AvalonBay Communities, and IHS Markit all reported lines of credit in use for their most recent quarter, but none of that was related to Covid-19.

As always, you need to read the disclosures to confirm the details — and Calcbench has thos details.

FREE Calcbench Premium
Two Week Trial

Research financial & accounting data like never before. Get features designed for better insights. Try our enhanced Excel Add-in. Sign up now to try the Premium Suite.